10 Tips for Teaching Grammar to EFL Students Abroad
Teaching English grammar is an important part of any EFL classroom. Depending on the level of your students and the degree of difficulty of the topics, the teacher may encounter several problems in the classroom. However, the following 10 tips should help you to prepare effective grammar lessons for your EFL students abroad.
1. Show your students why grammar matters
With an increasing change in the English language and the lack of proper grammar used in the spoken language, many students aren’t motivated to learn grammar. To ensure success, you should break this barrier and show your students why grammar matters. Create a big mind-map on the board and ask the students for statements about why grammar matters. This is a fun interactive way that gets the students involved and interested in grammar.
2. Give quizzes that grade themselves
You can use learning platforms like Edmodo to create your own self-grading quizzes or polls. Students love using technology and an online learning tool that allows you to create quizzes specifically for your own classroom drives motivation. Try it out with one of these amazing tools or simply use Google Docs or Sheets.
3. Use games to teach grammar
There are many ways you can use games to teach Grammar. We’ve written about several games that can be used for grammar purposes previously and you can find a list here:
- 7 Activities for Teaching Modal Auxiliary Verbs in the ESL Classroom
- 11 Fun ESL Activities for Young Learners
- 7 Activities for Teaching the Past Progressive for the ESL Classroom
- 7 Activities for Teaching Passive Voice in the ESL Classroom
- 5 Activities for Using Movies in the ESL Classroom
- 7 Awesome ESL Conversation Activities To Really Get Your Students Talking
4. Put students in the role of the teacher
It’s no secret that you learn by doing but also by teaching. That’s a great opportunity for your students to step into the role of the teacher themselves. This can be done by giving your students the chance to create their own grammar instructional videos or their own grammar worksheets, for example. You’ll be surprised by the creative ideas they’ll come up with!
5. Take requests
A great way to get your students involved and interested in your grammar lesson is to ask them every once in a while which mini-lessons you should do next. They will feel appreciated and involved in the lesson and already more motivated to learn what they requested.
6. Have students set up learning goals
A great way to get your students into learning grammar is to let them self-assess, identify their own grammar problem areas, make plans to fix them, and then accomplish those plans. You can find some great free resources online by searching for things like “Grammar Student Self-Assessment”, for example.
7. Encourage and reward error-finding
Have your students take note of any grammar error they find. This could be wrong grammar on a store sign, in a published book, on a business ad or anything really. You can even make this a regular part of their homework. Reward your students by giving them a point, a piece of candy, or just public praise.
8. Write original sentences
Refrain from giving all the mentor sentences away! Have your students copy real sentences from others and write their own original ones. The students need to learn to recognize errors and to draft sentences correctly the first time.
9. Use videos wisely
Even if you don't use student-made videos (see #4), it’s definitely recommended to give your students either videos you find online, or recordings of you explaining a grammar topic. You can create PowerPoint presentations explaining a topic and then use self-recorded material narrating over those slides and teaching. Having grammar instruction in videos does not only help absent students, but it also benefits all the students who need to hear something multiple times before they can remember it (who doesn’t?).
10. Find it in the texts you're reading!
Even if you are not doing a grammar lesson, you can still look for and point out the use of interesting and/or correct/incorrect grammar in a text you read in class, such as a semicolon in Dickens, for example. You can even go a step further and “collect” good examples of grammar from texts if they fit your grammar topics and write them down on a specific area of the whiteboard or somewhere else in the classroom. You might even have your students create a “correct grammar notebook” and collect the examples there for reference.
Are you ready to teach English abroad?
Once you have completed your TEFL certification course and have found a job that suits your plans, it is time to start thinking about the content of your future lessons. Grammar is an integral part of any EFL classroom and these tips for teaching grammar to EFL students abroad will certainly give you an edge over other new teachers.
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad.
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